Edmonton

Kenney's Peace Country land sale idea gets thumbs-down from NDP, Alberta Party

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says Jason Kenney’s idea to sell off Crown land to help balance the Alberta budget will likely face opposition from First Nations.

Kenney slammed for 'hubris' after forming transition team months before spring election

Jason Kenney, leader of the United Conservative Party, floated the idea of selling Crown land as a way to help balance the provincial budget. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press )

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says Jason Kenney's idea to sell off Crown land to help balance the provincial budget will likely face opposition from First Nations.

The United Conservative Party leader floated the idea of selling land in the Peace Country during an appearance at the Rural Municipalities Association convention in Edmonton Wednesday.

Kenney said it would be similar to how the province sold 100,000 acres of Crown forest for agricultural purposes when Ed Stelmach was premier.

Phillips said Kenney will need to consult with Indigenous groups before he can start putting property on the auction block.

"The fact of the matter is that we have a constitution in this country. The rule of law is a real thing," she told reporters at the Alberta legislature Thursday.

"So he has to engage with those folks. I suppose if he ever talked to an Indigenous person he would know this. "

The land sale idea also received a big thumbs down from Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel who likened the plan to balancing your household budget by selling the garage.

"If selling Alberta to the highest bidder is how Mr. Kenney plans to balance our budget, we already know Albertans are going to be an afterthought in a UCP-led government, and we will find ourselves in a much worse economic position than the NDP has left us in," Mandel said in a news release.

Transition team

Kenney raised eyebrows during his RMA appearance when he revealed he has already set up his transition team for taking over government.

He is also mulling who should make up his senior political team and considering appointments for agencies, boards and commissions.

The election is expected to be called in the spring of 2019. Although polls suggest the UCP would win if the vote was held today, Mandel suggested Kenney was being too presumptive.

"Jason Kenney's hubris is showing and demonstrates both an incredible disrespect for voters who have yet to even vote," Mandel said in the same news release.

"If polls were to be trusted we would have had very different leadership following the past two elections."